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Thread: Difference in thread???

  1. #1
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    Question Difference in thread???

    Hello,

    I'm still a newbie to all of this and wanted some input by some people who have experience in this topic. What I want to know about is thread. Right now I'm only piecing and binding. Two questions about piecing. Cotton vs. polyester? Which is better and why or is it just a personal preference that I will have to decide upon. Also, brands. One brand better than the other, any brand to stay away from? The follow up question is for binding. Same question. Cotton vs polyester, any brand better than the rest. Any of the expensive ones worth the money.

    I realize I'm probably going to get a variety of answers but I still want to hear what some seasoned peeps have to say. So if you have a minute, please let me know. Thanks so much.

    greg

  2. #2
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    It is a matter of personal preference. I use cotton thread now for the most part, but had used cotton/poly. In years past it did make a difference. For a good reference on threads check out Superior Threads web site. https://www.superiorthreads.com/ They have a lot of information about thread, charts for suggested threads to use for different applications.

    Phyllis
    QuiltingGrannie

  3. #3
    Senior Member ellenmg's Avatar
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    Welcome Greg! Gee, there are as many opinions on these topics as there are choices! If you search the old messages here, you will find a number of conversations about all these topics. Personally, I do find there are differences in thread. Superior Threads makes some sweet stuff and their website can provide you with an enormous amount of info on thread... I do love Alex Anderson's thread line but it is pricey. That said, even though it may seem insignificant, consider (and another reason to be precise in cutting fabric) even 1/64 of an inch, over say 30 seams is nearly half an inch difference. And in quilting, half an inch is major.
    When you ask cotton vs polyester, do you mean fabric? I prefer the name brands and I love batiks. If I am going to put hours and hours of work into a quilt, I want it to last. And I find the better fabrics have prettier designs. Just me though.
    Hope you get more info to help you wade through all your choices! We are looking forward toseeing pictures of you projects.
    Ellen

  4. #4
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    my personal preference is cotton thread but have been known to use whatever is handy. for piecing and binding, i don't see that it makes a real difference. welcome to the board.
    Nancy in western NY
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  5. #5
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    There are a lot of good threads to choose from and most use what their machine sews best with. My current favourite is Aurifil 50wt. It is strong but thin and sews like a dream. As for binding, I make my own from fabric the same weight and content of the quilt.

  6. #6
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    The wt and ply of a thread is more important then the type of thread. I think 50 wt 3ply thread is too heavy for piecing. Poly thread is stronger so it can be made thinner. Most top brands of piecing thread is poly. Most all bobbin thread used for bobbins is poly. I like cotton 2 ply 50 wt, like Aurifil for piecing. 70 wt poly for the bobbin. Superior threads has the best education site for threads and what needle size to use with each thread type.
    Got fabric?

  7. #7
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    I have used both cotton and poly for my projects. I prefer cotton, but if I need something sturdy I use poly, depends on the project and what I am sewing. As for brands I have used many, gutterman, mettler, connecting threads, sulky, coats and clarks, and all have done well. I use gutterman the most for piecing because of sales and coupons for joanns. My machine isn't picky, but some are so I say use what your machine likes, you do not have to go out and buy expensive thread. Some will suggest it but completely uneccessary. I really like mettler but it is expensive so don't use it much. I like the look of sulky's quilting cottons but haven't used them but for practice and have no other brands to compare. Cotton in very linty compared with polyester, but I always clean out my machine after I am done sewing so I have never had a problem. If we are talking embroidery than that is a whole other subject of thread
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

  8. #8
    Super Member Deborahlees's Avatar
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    For piecing I use a 50 wt from Superior Threads called "So Fine", I love it because it really sinks down into the seam, making it less bulky, and gives me a flatter seam....however I have been know to use anything that matches the color I need at the time.
    Yes that is a real picture of my hometown Temecula, California. We feature premiere Wineries, World Class Golf Courses, Pechanga Indian Casino and Hot Air Balloons

  9. #9
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    Welcome, from Texas!

    As for thread, it seems there are lots of favorites . . . and some say their machines do better, with certain brands. My machine takes whatever I choose to feed it, with no problems. That said, my favorite is Superior So Fine! 50 wt, for piecing and quilting. Reason - it produces less lint and seems to blend into fabric, better. I also like that I can buy the cones and save some money!
    Neesie


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  10. #10
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo View Post
    The wt and ply of a thread is more important then the type of thread. I think 50 wt 3ply thread is too heavy for piecing. Poly thread is stronger so it can be made thinner. Most top brands of piecing thread is poly. Most all bobbin thread used for bobbins is poly. I like cotton 2 ply 50 wt, like Aurifil for piecing. 70 wt poly for the bobbin. Superior threads has the best education site for threads and what needle size to use with each thread type.
    Most top thread makers make both poly and cotton. Their usages is up to the user. I don't know of any thread designated piecing thread.

    I don't know why there would be any reason to use cotton in the top and poly on the bottom when piecing.

    I use Prescencia and Aurifil for piecing, quilting and hand finishing the binding. I have several different weights of both. They're both pretty low lint for cotton thread. I don't even own any poly thread.

  11. #11
    Power Poster joyce888's Avatar
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    Welcome from Canton, GA. Looks like you've already been given some good and useful info regarding thread. Don't forget to see what brand and fiber content your "machine" likes. I have a very finicky Pfaff machine that will like my thread choice one day then the next day refuse to sew with it. Also be aware of the lint produced from 100% cotton thread and the build up in your machine.
    Joyce

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  12. #12
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    Here is what I have learned. Cotton will hold up better than polyester. Use the same kind of thread on like fabrics, cotton fabric and cotton thread. Polyester is said to cut thru the cotton fabric and it won't hold up as well in the long run. I don't know if this is true because I haven't tested it. Same thread in top for sewing as in the bobbin; lots less headaches when they match. I try to use mainly cotton thread when quilting and when piecing, I always use Aurifil. It is a 50wt 2ply thread. Its very strong and low lint. I started using it for piecing because I couldn't get my blocks to come out to the right size; the smaller the block with more seams the more off it would be. Having only 2 ply makes a big difference and now my blocks come out good. It's a good thread with lots of colors even though I normally use a natural color and then it blends in really good.

    I'm not knocking polyester and use it when I'm embroidering or other things.
    Judy

  13. #13
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I second the recommendation that you read Superior's website, it has fabulous information. There is an "Education" tab that will give you tons of info about all different kinds of thread, which needles to use, .

    I used to use Coats & Clark and Connecting Threads' Essentials, but recently switched to Bottom Line. It's 60 weight, strong, fine, sinks into the fabric. I LOVE it for hand applique and hand-binding. I avoid serger thread and embroidery thread; in my experience those two types of thread are not as strong.

    Two things to keep in mind when you're using thread, no matter what kind or brand: thread weight and needle size. For thread, a smaller number equals a heavier thread. 40 wt is fairly heavy, 50 is about average and is what you'd normally see in garments, 60 is pretty fine. You want to make sure you're using a needle appropriate for the thread. If you are using a 40 wt thread, you will want to avoid using a needle with a smaller eye, because that thread will drag in the eye and shred.

  14. #14
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I used to use 50wt 3ply thread for piecing, but once I tried Aurifil 50wt 2ply thread I was hooked! It's finer and smoother, seams press better, and I have better accuracy using it. Plus there is a lot less lint to deal with it and the bobbin doesn't have to be changed as often (because the thread is finer, the bobbin holds more of it).

    For me, the main reason to use Aurifil on top and 60wt bobbin thread on the bobbin is cost. Threadart 60wt poly bobbin thread is $6 for 5,000 meters. Aurifil costs about 3 to 4 times as much. My one concern is that the poly might eventually cut through the cotton. I know that is not supposed to be a concern any more, but when I test the poly it is *really* strong and I know cotton thread can dry out over time.

    I may eventually bite the bullet and pay to use only great quality cotton thread but, since my current level of quilting is not what I would consider even near heirloom quality, I'm not worrying about it right now.

    I love Aurifil 50wt 2ply for quilting on my domestic machine, but it will not be strong enough for my machine frame setup. The seller told me that 40wt Aurifil will work well in the top, but 50wt will break. I believe on the machine frame setups it's common to use a thicker thread on top and a finer thread in the bobbin.

    My bet is that Masterpiece thread from Superior (which is touted as a great piecing thread) is very similar to Aurifil 50wt 2ply, but I have not tried Masterpiece so can't be sure.

  15. #15
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    A lot has to do with the sewing machine. Some machines are persnickety - others not so much. One of my machines does not like Coats and Clark, the other doesn't mind. Another issue is lint. Polyester threads are not linty at all. Some cotton threads (like Connecting Threads) are quite linty. I generally use cotton thread for everything because I have tons of it. (Bought on sale.) The old rumor is that Polyester thread breaks the fabric but that myth has been debunked. I'd suggest that you try a few different types and see what you and your machine like. Then look out for sales.
    Martina
    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric!

  16. #16
    Super Member jlm5419's Avatar
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    Welcome, Greg, from California.
    For piecing, I LOVE Aurifil 50 wt cotton. For machine quilting (with my 15" Bailey) I use essential pro 3ply 70 wt polyester from Connecting Threads. I recently quilted a small piece (on my Singer 15-91) using size 70 bobbin thread and this thread became almost invisible, allowing the quilting itself to shine. I decided to give the bobbin thread a try after it was recommended by Karen McTavish in a class I took at the Machine Quilters Expo in Portland recently.

    I've seen a lot of negativity about Coats-N-Clark thread lately, but I really haven't had a problem with it. A lot will depend on your machine. Some machines like some threads better than others. My vintage machines seem to handle just about any thread, with the exception of nylon invisible thread.
    jlm5419-an Okie back in Oklahoma!
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    I use Aurifil or Presencia 50 wt as top thread and Bottom Line in the bobbin.

  18. #18
    Super Member Deborahlees's Avatar
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    One thing that I would add here is ALWAYS LOOK at your spool and read what it says.....
    The one absolute thread you do NOT want to use in your machine is Hand Quilting Thread, it has a finish on it that your machine will not like at all....that being said I would only use Machine Quilting thread for quilting not piecing. Also so threads do shed more lint than others so I would also recommend you look at your bobbin case every time you put a new bobbin in and clean with a little brush all the lint....that lint build up is what can Kill your machine faster than anything....IMHO
    Yes that is a real picture of my hometown Temecula, California. We feature premiere Wineries, World Class Golf Courses, Pechanga Indian Casino and Hot Air Balloons

  19. #19
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    I love Signature threads. they are not expensive but have great quality and colors.

  20. #20
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Superior Threads education clears up all the old wives tales and myths and use to be about thread.
    Got fabric?

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